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04/20/2006 Archived Entry: "An armed society is a ..."

IN ALL THE TALK ABOUT WHETHER GUNS SAVE LIVES, the daily comforts of carrying a gun tend to get overlooked. A friend just gave me a perfect example of the effect that the mere presence of firearms can have. She rents an office from a man who is ... well, you might say that Wesson Oil is less greasy. The man is a true slimeball -- and evil tempered to boot, storming through the building, yelling at employees and tenants alike.

But he's always scrupulously polite to her and her staff. Mr. Wesson Oil is fully aware that someone in her office carries a sidearm at all times as a matter of principle. Typically, several people do.

Recently, Mr. Wesson Oil's business has been going down the tubes. He's gotten himself into a financial La Brea tar pit. A week or so ago, tenants began to get the creepy feeling that someone was entering their offices at night. Nothing was missing. But things had been "inspected." Then last night, a woman working late caught Mr. Wesson Oil poking his passkey into her door. Behind him were two large men she'd never seen. "I'm ... uh, testing to make sure all the locks are locked," Mr. WO stammered before backing away.

My friend's office is apparently the only one in the building he hasn't been casing. She's moving her valuables out, anyway. And for the next few nights, an armed man will be sleeping on a cot behind a partition. Of course she'll move to new quarters as soon as she can. But in the meantime her experience is an interesting example of Heinlein's dictum that "An armed society is a polite society." Also a perfect example of the fact that craven, night-sneaking cowards fear an armed person, even when she's about half their size and sweet as apple pie with ice cream on it.

Posted by Claire @ 04:13 PM CST

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